Pneumonia is a very common illness that causes infection in the lungs. At best, it causes mild symptoms such as a cough or fever; at worst it can cause death. Unfortunately, pneumonia is one of those illnesses that seems to get swept under the rug - but no more! In recognition of World Pneumonia Day on 12 November, UNICEF wants to get the word out so we can all help save and protect children around the world.
1. Everyone can get pneumonia
One common myth is that pneumonia mostly affects older people. However, everyone is at risk. This includes children, especially those who live in areas with high levels of air pollution. In fact, half of all pneumonia deaths in children are linked to air pollution!
2. Pneumonia is the leading infectious killer of children under five.
Even though pneumonia is preventable and treatable, 922,000 children died from it last year. That’s 2,500 children per day and 1 every 35 seconds! Pneumonia in the most deadly infectious disease in children, causing more deaths than malaria, tuberculosis, measles and AIDS combined!
3. A lot less children are dying from pneumonia!
Between 2000 and 2015 the amount of deaths in children from pneumonia decreased by 47%! That is awesome, but there is still more work to be done. This is the slowest rate of decline among (the main) childhood diseases.
4. The majority of childhood pneumonia cases occur in 10 countries.
60% of deaths occur in Chad, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China and Indonesia. Pneumonia is more common in rural areas, poor areas and areas with poor air quality and unclean water.
5. There are a lot of ways to fight pneumonia.
These include vaccines, breastfeeding, access to safe drinking water, improving overall sanitation, good nutritional habits for children and improving air quality, especially inside the home. It all starts with raising awareness and sharing solutions.
You can do something today: help us get the word out! One death from pneumonia is one too many. If you want to get involved and help save the lives of thousands of children visit everybreathcounts.info
Snow chemistry monitoring results show reduced air pollutant levels in Glacier
Is it too early to talk about snow?
We’ve got some good news about ours! Recent work in the Rocky Mountain region by NPS and USGS scientists has shown that concentrations of some important pollutants, like nitrate and sulfate, have been stable or decreasing in our snowpacks over the last two decades. Data was taken at snow monitoring stations in Glacier (at Apgar Lookout), Rocky Mountain National Park, and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve.
Parks care about snow chemistry because small particles of pollutants in the atmosphere are carried from far away by snowflakes that land on otherwise pristine park mountaintops. Snow forms when very cold water freezes onto particles of dust or pollen in the air, creating an ice crystal. The crystal accumulates water vapor as it falls to the ground, building a snowflake. After the snow has accumulated and eventually melts, the pollutants it carries will leach into the ground.
Excessive nitrogen and sulfur in the atmosphere come from power plant emissions, vehicle exhaust, livestock operations, fertilizer application, and other human sources. These pollutants can acidify and over-enrich soil and water, contributing to exotic plant and insect invasions, toxic algal blooms, and loss of species diversity. High-elevation environments, like Glacier’s alpine lakes, are naturally low in nutrients. Even small amounts of pollutants can disrupt their sensitive balance.
The establishment of the Clean Air Act in 1970, and its subsequent amendments, is responsible for significant reductions in air pollution and prevention of pollution-related illnesses and deaths over the past 40 years. Current challenges the EPA faces in air pollution reduction include particle pollution, greenhouse gas effects, toxic industrial pollutants, and ozone-degrading chemicals.
Have you ever noticed air pollution where you live or somewhere that you’ve traveled?
Hi, so I’ve been busy with school. My major is biomedical engineering and we are building a device to purify the air we breathe in if you live in a polluted area. If you can, please spare some time to fill out this survey. Also, please signal boost this survey if you know anyone that may be suffering from irregular breathing. Thank you so much for your time.
The Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce its intent to withdraw final determination on strict fuel-efficiency standards for future cars and light trucks, the latest signal by the Trump administration that it is charting a new course on climate change. Two associations representing the world’s biggest automakers last week asked EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to reconsider the standards for model years 2022 to 2025, which would require the nation’s car and light-truck fleet to average 54.5 miles per gallon by the end of that period. While automakers struck a 2009 deal with the Obama administration to set the first-ever carbon limits on cars and trucks, many of them now say it will be difficult to achieve these long-term targets given the lower price of gas and Americans’ preference for sport-utility vehicles. The EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agreed to review the 2022-2025 standards when they set them five years ago, but the EPA concluded in December that no revision was necessary. It finalized the standards a week before Trump took office. According to individuals briefed on the matter, the new administration also is considering issuing an executive order that would revoke California’s ability to set its own, tighter targets for those model years. California is the only state allowed to do so under the Clean Air Act, but other states can adopt its regulations as their own.
To all the witches and pagans saying “have a bonfire” for Litha/Summer Solstice...
Our planet is getting way too warm, and it’s from us horribly wasting our resources and fucking up our air. The Summer Solstice is the longest day of the year, which means the most hours of sunlight in a day in a season that is now becoming warmer and warmer and for many, the Summer Solstice is a time of extreme fire danger.
Having a bonfire on the Summer Solstice really isn’t a good idea when you consider the modern state of the world. I was taught to have a fire on Litha too, but as I’ve moved more towards my cronedom, it’s become clear to me that for many Wheel holidays, we’re reenacting ritual actions based on past contexts (mostly imagined by us) and not creating rituals based on modern needs and context.
What if we didn’t celebrate the Solstice with the things that we have more than enough of (light & heat) at this time of year? How about honoring all the plants and animals who burn to death in summer fires? Why don’t we celebrate our incredibly precious and dwindling supply of fresh water when it’s hot outside?
For those of you who live in locations where summer burn bans happen due to fire danger or poor air quality, how do you observe Litha, the Summer Solstice?
New research released Monday documents the impact that pollution from a coal-fired plant in Pennsylvania had on four wealthy New Jersey counties as far as 30 miles downwind. Women in those counties had a greater risk of having babies of low or very low birthweight — less than 5½ pounds — than did women in similarly affluent areas. It didn’t matter that the mothers there had advantages that low-income mothers don’t: money and access to private health care. Their babies still appeared to suffer from the effects of air pollution, specifically wind-borne sulfur emissions. The study authors say stronger federal regulation of emissions from coal-fired plants is needed to safeguard human health. Plenty of research has looked at the negative effects of air pollution made worse by smoke drifting from coal-burning power plants. But this study by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania and Lehigh University is the first to assess cross-state sulfur dioxide pollution from a specific plant, the Portland Generating Station in Knowlton Township, Pa., and to use atmospheric dispersal modeling to link it to downwind areas — in this case, Warren, Morris, Hunterdon and Sussex counties in New Jersey. “We have this very unique situation where the source is uniquely identified,” said lead author Muzhe Yang, an associate professor in the Lehigh economics department. “Most studies focus on low-wage areas, and we looked at a wealthy region. We are filling a very important gap. This is just the beginning step, an impact on early life through birth outcomes.” The study, published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, lays out its rationale in its introduction: to “provide causal estimates of the impact of prenatal exposure to power plant emissions on birthweight … for a wealthy region of the United States.” Yang said the study’s conclusions suggest that the Environmental Protection Agency should be more involved in settling interstate disputes because of health concerns.